I grew up wanting to be a Cowboy – but as Mike Harding said:
“It’s hard being a cowboy in Rochdale,
the spurs don’t fit right on my clogs.
It’s hard being a cowboy in Rochdale,
cos people laugh when I ride past on our Alsatian dog.”
And the Lone Ranger and Tonto remain my lifelong heroes. (Despite Disney not quite delivering with Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp.)
There are three movies out right now which prove the Western genre is alive and well – in fact not only has it survived, it’s thriving!
I watched The Harder They Fall on Netflix (twice). It puts the Wild back into the Wild West. Tarantino meets Sergio Leone, meets Spike Lee, meets John Woo. A mashup of hip hop, great music, great fight scenes, revenge, melodrama, violence, morality, spaghetti western, High Noon and Oceans 11. It features Luther (Idris Elba – Esquire’s current cover star – ‘The Coolest Dude in the World’) and legendary from the real Wild West (Stagecoach Mary), Gunslinger James Beckwourth. Spoiler alert – it’s visually violent (think Kill Bill).
The Power of the Dog starts streaming on Netflix on December 1st. It’s in limited US/UK theatre release this week. It’s opened to critical acclaim, including a four minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. Directed by Kiwi icon Jane Campion and starring Sherlock (the charismatic Benedict Cumberbatch), Kirsten Dunst and old favourite of mine (Keith Carradine). Moody and complex – beautifully shot. Montana 1920’s at its best. Brilliant.
Old Henry – downloaded it on Apple and watched it on a Phoenix to Newark flight as we headed to New Jersey for a Family Thanksgiving with Mark, Vanessa and the kids. Complex, gritty, old school, taciturn, good guys vs bad guys, father and son. Loved it.
And watch out for 1883 (December 19 on Paramount Plus) – the prequel to Yellowstone with Country Music power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
And Apache Junction with Trace Adkins getting his cowboy as with lots of killers and thieves.
Tonight we Ride!